First race and first podium for Edmond de Rothschild Group
It’s all go for the Extreme Sailing Series event in Cowes. At exactly 1000 GMT this morning, race management launched the nine competing catamarans on a coastal course, the start of which took place at the foot of the famous Royal Yacht Squadron. A light English drizzle and a gentle 7 knot breeze accompanied the fleet of Extreme 40s. The catamaran fitted out by Baron Benjamin de Rothschild earned her first podium position of the week with a 3rd place.

Overly keen on the start line, Véolia, Groupama and The Ocean Racing Club were each given an individual recall. As such they had to turn back on themselves and perform a penalty turn, a manœuvre which is always detrimental to the next stage in proceedings.

The Solent is famed for its strong currents and the least that can be said about that is that conditions were true to form in the first race of this Cowes Grand Prix. Heading to windward initially, with the current against them on a rising tide, Edmond de Rothschild Group and her rivals really had their work cut out with a number of tack changes proving vital to ensure the steady headway of their steed. To better protect themselves against the currents, the one designs had to go pebble-hopping as close to the island as they dared… It proved to be a perilous game as the gear damage at the end of this race testified: all the competitors hit and damaged at least one of their appendages (daggerboards and/ or rudders). At Ventury Quays, where the Extreme 40s are moored, the shore crews are getting down to work to get the bulk of the repairs done before this afternoon’s races.

Third in this race, which was ultimately won by the team on Ecover, Yann Guichard and his crew have straightaway confirmed that they’re a force to be reckoned with. The next race is at 1500 GMT, with a return to the more traditional Extreme Sailing Series format, namely short courses off Egypt Point.

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